So, the 'final' assault on Fallujah has begun.
And, by a dramatic coincidence, preparation for this assault meant it could not take place until shortly after the US Presidential Election.
Tony Blair spoke to Parliament this afternoon and described the insurgents in Fallujah as terrorists. 'They are not fighting an army of occupation' he reasoned 'as, if they gave up their weapons, the American and British forces would leave their country immediately'.
Which kind of goes against the fact that, by their own admission, the Americans are building several rather large, and permanent, bases in Iraq.
The technical term for what Tony was doing is usually referred to outside of the House of Commons as 'lying'.
But, hey, Tony explained that capturing Fallujah was a vital prerequisite for UK homeland security and it certainly gives the media lots of scope for publishing those highly educational and informative diagrams of Coalition battle plans we've come to know and love over the last couple of years.
I saw one diagram in particular that appeared to have been drawn by the same artist who sketched the caves at Tora Bora during the attack on Afghanistan.
Tora Bora was a great story; even the name sounded a bit like the Pearl Harbour attack command 'Tora Tora Tora' and the famous Pacific War base at Bora Bora. Yes, Tora Tora Tora Bora Bora, Bin Laden's secret underground cave complex in Afghanistan; complete with reinforced doors, secret passageways, hydroelectric power plants and missile defence pods. Ernst Stavro Blofeld would have been proud to conquer the World from there. James Bond would have given his right arm to blow it up.
Sadly, the real tunnel complex at Tora Bora comprised an old man in a silly hat sitting amongst a pile of rusty rations cans in a solitary, 12ft deep cave. Countless B-52 strikes and smart missile attacks had failed to penetrate even this rather pathetic defensive position.
Curiously, the same newspapers that had printed all those elaborate diagrams of the Al Qaeda super fortress did not follow up the story with headlines like:
'Reports of secret Bin Laden underground complex proved to be utter bollocks'
'American and British public told deranged lies, based on recycled Ian Fleming novels, about Al Qaeda's size and capability in order to stimulate climate of hysteria suitable for fascist-style mass manipulation'
But Al Qaeda's bogus threat to civilisation wasn't just restricted to Afghanistan. At the same time as non-existent operatives were manning the non-existent base in Afghanistan, non-existent Al Qaeda agents were at work in Kidbrooke, SE London. On 3rd October 2001 the following story hit the headlines:
'On Monday a residential address in south east London was searched by officers. It has been reported that the man still being detained in London is being questioned over whether he raised funds for banned extremist group Islamic Jihad. Police are also investigating his links with London-based Sakina Security Services. The firm offers training including the "ultimate Jihad challenge" which allows young Muslims to go to a live firing range in the US for weapons instruction. Sakina also offers courses on various aspects of firearms and unarmed combat as well as how to "improvise explosive devices". Scotland Yard and the FBI are understood to have been monitoring the company's activities for over six months.
Speaking at his solicitor's office the 44-year-old said: "I (supposedly) had £30m in the bank, I was fundraising for Islamic Jihad in Egypt, I was responsible for sending so many people to Afghanistan and this and that - all from a one-bedroom flat, it was a joke."
In a statement released after the acquittal, the Metropolitan Police Service said it stood by its decision to prosecute Mr Zainulabidin.
Zainulabidin was an unemployed chef who set up a one page website offering to send applicants to combat training schools in … Afghanistan? Libya? Iran? Nope, Alabama. His only potential customer had been a security guard from a local Sainsbury's supermarket. He had called his site 'Ultimate Jihad Challenge' because, to him, it sounded hard-boiled; then, unfortunately for him, 9/11 happened.
And he had been under scrutiny by police for six months?
Since 9/11, roughly 700 Muslims have been arrested in the UK under anti-terror legislation. So far, none, not one of them has been convicted of terrorist activity.
I wonder, I really wonder, just how many hundreds of police are sitting outside lonely, sadsters flats all over the UK for month after pointless month.